Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We are waiting for Tia Kristina's arrival. She has been traveling all day! Her flight has been delayed or canceled, not just once but many times today. Well, she just called and said she arrived in Detroit. I told her that her connecting flight is delayed waiting for passengers, hopefully she'll make it! That would put her into Mpls at almost midnight. Its a late night for me, but I'll be glad to help her end her horrible, horrible day of Northwest airlines misery.

Please see our videos below. One video is of James' golf genius and the other is James sitting on our lawn. I tried to get him to play in the water sprinkler, but he screamed. I held him in my arms and ran with him through the sprinkler. He laughed a little at that, but didn't like being on his own. Well, we'll try again.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Two zoos in one weeek!

We hit the MN zoo today, after just being at the SD Zoo last Saturday. Jim and I really wanted a nice day out with James, and the weather cooperated. It was hot but not too hot. James ended up cooling off at the zoo's Splash Pad. He LOVED LOVED LOVED it! He actually cried when I picked him up and carried him away. It inspired us to buy a water sprinkler/toy for home. We hope he likes that too!

So James interacted with the animals much more today, just like at the SD zoo. He was not afraid of the petting zoo animals, watched the fish in the aquarium, and looked at the grizzly bear up close and personal at the new Grizzly Coast exhibit. The grizzly was INCHES away from James (separated by a thick glass barrier), as it waded in its pool, swam right up to James and I, and started to poke its nose at the glass. My Mama instincts made me want to hold James close and run, because the bear looked at James like he was a tasty treat! It was really, really cool to be so close to a bear though.

We came home and the fun continued. Please see our videos below for some clips from the zoo but also Elmo Love Part 2.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mr. Happy

James was a perfect, happy baby! We had a productive day at home, also ran some errands, and made it to the park for some swing time :)

We converted the baby highchair to a big boy booster seat. We've started feeding James at the regular dining room table, cleaning up the mess at the end :) There is a picture in the June photo album.

Please see our video for some Elmo Love.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Messy Baby

This is what happens when you give a baby his own yogurt. There was yogurt splattered everywhere.

Happy Birthday to Tia Kristina on Friday!!! We love you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yup, he's a boy!

I forgot to mention James' latest discovery. He has a penis. He now reaches for his penis at each diaper change and giggles. We find it humorous! This has been going on since SD. Yup, he's a boy!

Happy Birthday (yesterday) to Ryan & Jesse Kemmetmueller!

I feel horrible. Tonight James threw himself against me, slid down the couch at the same time, and my fingernail caught him on his side. I knew that I hurt him before he started crying. And then when I looked there is a red, long scratch. I hurt my baby! Luckily, when I asked him if he still loved me, he said "Yeah."

I have sad news. The teacher at my school who had her baby early and then the baby has had complications, well, Baby Maisie passed away yesterday. I saw her when Brooke (teacher) brought her to school for a visit on the last day of school last week. The baby was tiny and gray. At that point they had brought the baby home because there was nothing else to be done for her. I can't imagine what the family is going through :(

The good, great, wonderful news is that Tia Kristina is coming for a visit! She arrives next week! We are looking forward to seeing her and I'm sure she's anxious to see James :)

Tomorrow is my first full day with James. Tuesday we spent the day, all of us, recuperating from our vacation :) Today James went to daycare while I finished up some things at work. So tomorrow we start our summer :) No big plans except grocery shopping and visiting Maya the cat.

Weekend plans: MN Zoo!

Monday, June 16, 2008

SD Day #5- Coronado Beach & Goodbye!

We are home safe! We had an uneventful flight home and a great baby to travel with. James had a full day at the beach, and I suppose that helped :) We were really pleased with the way he traveled on the plane, this time he wanted to be a bit more active- standing up and crawling around on top of us. We kept him happy and eventually he fell asleep in our arms.

We started the morning with "the Best Breakfast ever", according to Jim. It was a restaurant called the Hash House a Go-Go and it was really close to our hotel. We were bummed that we discovered it on our last day. We ordered our food and our eyes bulged out when we saw the plates- HUGE and covered with food. My blackberry granola flapjack was about the size of SIX normal pancakes, and it was awesome. Jim had Banana cream & pecan french toast. Wow, his was good too! James was happy with his bowl of strawberries but wouldn't try our food. (He's become a picky eater, though I hope this changes now that we're home.)

And then we headed back to to hotel to hang out, watch golf, pack, and get ready for the beach. We made it to Coronado via the long long long bridge over the bay. I was excited to go over the bridge but then realized how high, how long it was, and how vulnerable you really are (thinking about the I-35 bridge collapse, how morbid!) We made it (phew!) and headed to lunch (pizza) to energize for the day.

I realized that we were pretty unprepared for the beach. We only had one beach towel and should have brought more or a big blanket to sit on. We made it work and James had a blast! I don't think he knew what to do with the sand, so we headed to the water. The first wave that hit his feet (safe in water shoes) was really cold and he demanded, "Up!" He got used to the water and would RUN towards it. Jim had a hard time keeping him safe and not too deep :) We let him play in the water and I tried to find some seashells and sand dollars. I found two but one broke and the other I left in the rental car :(

It was just a really great way to end our vacation, soaking in the sun and playing in the water. James was so happy and that made us happy :) It was a really pretty beach and the Hotel nearby was beautiful. When we make our millions, we'll maybe stay there for a vacation next time!

We left with sand in our shoes, in our diaper bag, and the stroller. I'm sure we brought some back to MN too!

I woke James up at 8am (when I woke up) wanting to get him back into our usual routine. He's done so well with the time change, but we're using today to get back to normal. Dada Jim is home too- he took the day off to unpack and regroup before he needs to get back to the grind. We're lucky to have such a great Dada to help us today :)

Please see our pictures and video below! We are happy to be home but we'll miss our SD family and the fun we had.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Dada's Day! SD Day #4

Happy Dada's Day to Jim! He is the best Dada! We plan on really celebrating this next weekend when we're home. Jim deserves the special treatment- sleeping in on Saturday/Sunday, special meals, presents, etc.

Today we met all of our San Diego family for breakfast. Jim was finally able to meet Jamie, my stepsister. She was really excited to meet Jim and James. She is always a hoot! We went back to Great Grandpa and Grandma's house following breakfast for a quick visit. Grandma showed me her beautiful quilts, we took a few pictures and videos, and then we said goodbye when James started to get a little cranky (franky). He slept in the car while we drove to Seaport Village. I remember Seaport Village from when I was little. My parents would take us and we would watch the jugglers, shop, and ride the carousel. We did all of the same things today! Jim took James on the carousel (they sat in a chariot, not a moving horse)- James didn't really have a reaction to it. Better than crying :)

We found Seaport Village to be very pretty. The weather was hot but windy by the water. We ate lunch there- I had fish and chips, Jim had a calamari sandwich. We had plenty of opportunity to use the monkey today- James had a great time walking and walking by the water and through the village.

We got back to the hotel at around 4ish and rested. We ended up having takeout for dinner, just enjoying the time together.

New words, well, maybe not new but frequently used this week: Up! (asking to be picked up) and Shoe. And every goodbye is "Bye Bye Dada!"- it doesn't matter to who.

Happy Father's Day to all the Grandpas! Grandpa Frank, Grandpa Roger, Grandpa Larry, and Great Grandpas Frank and Ruben (in Santa Barbara)!!

Tomorrow: We are going to the beach! And then we leave for MN at 5:30. We arrive back in MN after midnight. Please wish us luck and hope that James just sleeps on the plane :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

SD Day #3- San Diego Zoo

We began the morning with breakfast. We met Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie, and Grandpa led us on a tour of SD as we tried to figure out where our breakfast location was :) We met Carrie (my step-sister), her husband Vern, and their son Cameron at the restaurant.

We (Grandpa Frank, Grandma Julie, Jim, James and I) spent a fun-filled day at the San Diego Zoo- world famous! It is a HUGE zoo. We walked for awhile, taking James to the Children's Zoo first. He was fearless in wandering around and petting the goats, sheep, etc. We tried to let him walk around as much as possible, he kept us on a pretty fast pace through the zoo. We were so careful to let him walk ahead of us, but not too far. He stayed on the paths for the most part, and just looked like he was having so much fun! He soon became worn out and napped on my lap as we took the zoo tour bus around the zoo, looking to see what we would head to next.

We saw so many animals! The plants and trees were also incredible. Its funny what I notice now as an adult :) I just know that we'll have to head back to the zoo (too) when James is older. He really did notice the animals- much more than he has at the MN zoo a couple of months ago- but I think older kids really appreciate the animals when they can name them and learn about them. Its also an excellent reason to come back and visit Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie!

Please see our pictures of our adventures today.

After our full day at the zoo, we parted ways from Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie. We went to the grocery store to replenish James' applesauce and banana supply. We also went to a restaurant called Jimmy Carter's. We had looked for a restaurant online and saw it had good reviews. Well, we were mistaken because JC's was really a Mexican cafe and not the American diner that we had thought. It actually was really good though! I had crab and shrimp enchiladas, Jim had carnitas, and James had a cheese enchilada. Jim said his meal was "very good" which is the ultimate rating in his book. He loved the homemade tortillas- they reminded me of my Grandma Gutierrez's tortillas.

Tomorrow: Father's Day breakfast with Grandpa Frank, Grandma Julie, Great Grandpa Frank, Great Grandma Rachel, Carrie, Vern, Cameron, and Jamie (my other step-sister). Also, Jim, James and I are headed to Seaport Village and possibly the beach!

Friday, June 13, 2008

SD Day #2

James slept well again, probably exhausted after a long day of new and exciting things and people. He woke up at 6am SD time, so he's adjusted himself to the new time zone. What a great baby!

We went down to breakfast at about 7:30 but we didn't stay long. James had a meltdown and refused to eat, he screamed and threw anything we put in front of him. The only thing we figured (later) was that he might have rubbed sunscreen in his eyes. We brought him back up to the hotel room and tried to feed him there. I washed off his hands and his face, and he settled down. He only really ate bananas and applesauce, but he stopped crying so we were relieved.

We left for Legoland and arrived there at 10:30. It was about a 50 minute drive. (*I* am driving us around in California. Jim gets impatient in traffic. I'm glad to do it.) We made sure to slather ourselves in sunscreen and we went into Legoland. We were immediately greeted by a Lego Darth Vader and R2D2 (see pictures).

LegoLand was incredible. There were so many things to see- Lego works of art, Lego inspired rides, playgrounds, a really really fun looking water park (and I don't really like the water!), etc. We agreed that it would be a great place to go back to when James is older. Today we went on just one ride (a boat cruise) but mostly looked and let James walk around a bit.

James slept in the car, both on the way to LegoLand and then back to the hotel. He did great today!

We got back to the hotel pretty early (2:30ish) and rested. We walked to the Hillcrest neighborhood and found a fun diner for dinner. Please see our pictures and check out my root beer float and Jim's chocolate malt! We thought of Grandpa Roger because the diner was 50's, Elvis, and oldies inspired.

Tomorrow: The San Diego Zoo with Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

SD Day #1

We arrived in SD with no real problems. James was wonderful on the plane. No issues! I was so glad because I imagined problems with his ears, crying, boredom. He only really had a few miserable minutes at the beginning with the special seatbelt that we bought for him. He hated it. Jim ended up holding James on his lap for the takeoff, and as soon as we had the all clear, James sat in his own seat with the regular seatbelt. He watched his Elmo DVDs until the battery ran out on the laptop, and then we had fun with stickers (see pictures :) and lots of food. I feel badly that we made such a mess of stickers and crackers on the floor, but hey, we kept James a happy, entertained baby for the good of the whole plane!

Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie greeted us at the airport and James was in good spirits. We went to get our rental car and headed to our hotel. It is great! Our hotel room is a suite and we have a separate bedroom area from the living/dining/kitchen area. The bedroom alone is bigger than a normal hotel room! We unloaded our stuff and went in search of FOOD! We found a Chinese restaurant down the street. James still was in a good mood despite the time. It was 10:30 Minnesota time by the time we got back to our hotel room! We could not believe how well he did ALL DAY with just an hour nap (because we woke him up early to get to the airport in Mpls.)

We set up the pack n play that the hotel provided and James slept well until about 4:30 SD time (6:30 MN) At 4:30 he was chatting away, laughing. We ignored him and he did fall back asleep until 6am. We got up for breakfast and to get ready for our day on Grandpa Frank's boat!

We met Grandpa Frank at Great Grandma Rachel and Great Grandpa Frank's house. It was so nice to see/meet them! It was a short visit because we headed out with Grandpa Frank to the Marina/Harbor. We had worried that the weather would be cold but it was just cool and windy. It became hot later and Dada Jim suffered the worst of this. We were prepared with James' sunscreen but we neglected to tend to Dada. Jim now has a RED RED sunburn on his face and tops of his knees. He is in a little pain but he will be brown soon enough :)

We had a great time on Grandpa Frank's boat. We rode out for about 1 1/2 hours and saw Downtown SD, where Grandpa works at NASSCO, and the Coronado bridge and island. James really enjoyed walking around the boat (safely with either Mama/Dada watching him like hawks!) and we enjoyed the relaxation of sitting back, enjoying the view, and spending time with Grandpa Frank.

James became cranky (franky) and I held him in my arms until he fell asleep. He fell asleep upright because it was awkward in any other position with the bulky life jacket. I took care to hold him still and so that he was comfortable- ignoring the ache in my back and arms :) He slept for about 35 minutes, until we ended our pontoon adventure.

Lunch followed-

(note from Jim: Jack in the Box sucks. They screwed up our order, we waited 15 minutes for FAST FOOD. Argh. )

and then a trip to the grocery store for supplies (cereal, crackers, applesauce, diapers, dish soap, etc.)

We met Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie at the Great Grandparents house for dinner. Great Grandma Rachel is a great cook but James' short naps for the last two days and the time change soon caught up with him and he was crabby throughout dinner. We left early and came back to the hotel.

We were glad to have such a great day with Grandpa Frank, and then a nice dinner with Grandma Julie, Great Grandma Rachel, and Great Grandpa Frank. James was mostly on his best behavior and we are proud parents!

Tomorrow's plans: LegoLand!!!!! And maybe some relaxation time at the hotel/neighborhood (there are some great shops, restaurants around the hotel).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bye Bye Good to Go

This is what James says. Not just Bye Bye, but the entire phrase.

Tonight we were pleasantly surprised when he said, "Bye Bye Dada" as I carried him upstairs to bed. It was very sweet!

Another sweet moment was today at daycare when James saw me at the front door. He was sitting at the big kid table (vs. a highchair) and he saw me and yelled out "Mama!" He scrambled to get out of the picnic table and tottered over to the baby gate near the doorway. I couldn't hug him fast enough!

I added some non-James related pictures to the baby album. It been a busy time, saying goodbye to students and then the graduation on Sunday in Chicago. It was one of the longest days of my life- not just because of the early departure and then the terribly long weather delays at the airport (I didn't get home until nearly 2am, ugh!) but because I was away from Jim and James all day. It was the first time I wasn't there for James' wake-up and then his bedtime. A complete day away from him! He was in his Dada's hands, a very nice, safe place to be!

Well, we're packing and getting ready for our big trip tomorrow. Please think of us as we manage our first plane ride with James. I feel like we're ready- DVDs to entertain him, coloring books and crayons, travel aquadoodle mat, stickers, books. I'll pack lots of food too- that'll keep him busy!

I hope to update from San Diego!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Yes, those pajamas did come with a cape :)

Its our last weekend before our big trip! I felt pretty frazzled today thinking about all the packing and organizing I thought I should be doing. I think I'm pretty organized about what I need for James. I might even have too much on the packing list :)

I think I should just get through tomorrow first- I'm going to Chicago just for the day for a former student's graduation. I'm going with a few ladies from my school. This leaves Jim at home with James for the day. I hope they have a fun time!

Two more days of work and then we can vacation.

New words this week:

Shoe (perfect sounding!)

Sandra (sand-da)

Isabelle (Sandra said James says it, I haven't heard it)



Another thing I've noticed, he's pointing things out in books. I can ask "Where is the baby?" or "Who is the Mama?" in his animal books and he correctly points out the right thing. I'm so proud :)

Please see our new pictures in the Baby Album and the video below. James and his Dada had a great time playing :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

7 more days!

Yes, I am counting down the days left of school. We are excited to get to San Diego to see Grandpa Frank and Grandma Julie. Its our first family vacation and we're going to have lots of fun.

So I need to get through this next week. I have a lot of things to finish up with students and then I have to wait and hear about what next year will bring me. I don't know if I'm having an end of the year evaluation, I don't know anything. I hope everything works out.

James has a new word! Apple! He's able to sign the word too, but just today we could hear that he was repeating it. He had apple yogurt and I kept repeating apple and he said it like "pple" and then again when we were looking through his sign language flash cards.

James also says "Beep!" when we push on his nose or he pushes on a mole/spot on his Dada. Its really cute :)

We saw Grandma Rosie, Grandpa Larry, Tia Ana, and Tio Rich ALL DAY yesterday, what a treat! We all participated in Ana's garage sale and we did very well. Grandma Rosie played with James and took him for a few walks around the neighborhood. He was kept very busy all day, and napped well in an unfamiliar place. This was encouraging because hopefully this means that he will nap well in SD.

Grandpa Roger came over this morning for a visit and a long walk around the lake with the Boys. Grandma Laura stopped by too for a quick hello. Lots of family time this weekend- James is a lucky boy!

I'm so happy and grateful to have James. He is a wonderful little boy- happy, sweet, healthy and very loving. There is a teacher at my school who also keeps a blog about her new baby, and unfortunately she is not doing well. She had complications and was born early. Lots of complications, seizures, low brain activity. She's finally home to live out the rest of her short life, maybe 4 days, maybe 2 months. It just makes me very sad to imagine all that. Why can't everyone be as happy and lucky as Jim and me?